MANCHESTER UNITED manager Jose Mourinho is set to hand a debut start to youngster Demetri Mitchell against Crystal Palace tomorrow.
The highly-rated left-back was named as a sub in the 0-0 draw at Southampton.
Left-back Mitchell is yet to make his senior debut, but has been named on the United bench in recent weeks after impressing for the U23’s this campaign.
Jose Mourinho went to watch the U23’s this week in preparation and will have been impressed by the forward-thinking 20-year-old, who is nominated for the Reserve Team Player of the Year award.
As Mourinho’s thoughts are all on the Europa League final against Ajax next week and injuries to regular left-back Luke Shaw and right-back Ashley Young has got him his chance – but who is he?
What is Demetri Mitchell’s background?
Manchester-born Mitchell has been at the Red Devils since he was a schoolboy, making his u18 debut while still eligible for the u16 age group four years ago.
Originally a forward or a winger at younger age groups, he has been converted to wing-back by necessity and flourished this season, and has now played most of his matches there.
What is Demetri Mitchell’s style of play?
Bursting with pace and trickery, he was a winger for much of his youth career, scoring a number of spectacular strikes and being a trusted penalty taker.
But once Cameron Borthwick-Jackson went out on loan, he was converted by Warren Joyce to left-back – but is very much attack-minded.
Mitchell told MUTV : “We had a friendly against Barnsley and I played at left-back. It was new to me and I didn’t grasp it too well but I played wing-back against Chelsea and that helped me adjust to the position.
“I also played against Sparta Prague [in the Premier League International Cup] and just went on from there. To be fair, I think I’ve adjusted quite well.”
Why is Demetri Mitchell playing now?
Jose Mourinho has been clear that he wants to rest senior pros with the Europa League in mind – and bear in mind many are already out injured.
Lots of senior players have played many minutes in a busy set of April fixtures, and the Special One needs them fit for the game in Stockholm next week.
United now cannot finish higher than fifth, and have Southampton and Palace to play before the end of the season – both teams with nothing to play for.